The third step of the B2B Purchase Process is the Request for Proposal (RFP). As our dear readers have learnt, just because the job description is detailed and you check all the boxes, you do not get a job interview! Similarly, from the point of view of the B2B Marketer responding to RFP’s does not mean that there is equal opportunity for all vendors.
In Step 2 of the B2B Buying Process, the buying organization develops the Product Specifications/Scope of Work (SoW). This is the document that will be put out for request for proposals (RFP) or tenders. If you have never supplied to the buying company, and you are generally capable, you can face a sudden roadblock. That roadblock feels similar to rigged job descriptions that our dear readers have all experienced.
If you research “B2B buying process” you’ll come up with the steps that a business goes through in the B2B buying process. These include (1) Business need recognition (2) Developing specifications of what will meet the need (3) Request for proposals (RFP) (4) Comparison of proposals/bids and negotiate with suppliers (5) Purchase order placement (6) Delivery and receipt of goods or services (7) Evaluation of suppliers.
To make AdWords more effective for B2B marketing, its useful to understand some key features of B2B marketing before setting up the campaign. Here are those key features:
The Buying Center is an informal group of people in organizations who influence the decision to buy your product or service. Members of buying centers have different degrees of influence and things can get pretty political and unpredictable. It is therefore important to tailor your marketing content for each role in the buying center. MarketingContinue reading “Content marketing for : User members of B2B buying centers”
This is like saying that every first date from digital dating sites (eg. eHarmony) results in marriage. And the marriage analogy is huge in marketing theory. Our favorite is by Dwyer,Schurr and Oh (1987). They debunk the marketing myth of the”one night stand” in favor of the paradigm of”long term marriage.” Just as a marriage takes place after much due diligence on both sides, so does complex B2B and B2C purchases. Lisa Gevelber of Google explains how one customer searches 900 times, at different websites,before deciding to lease a particular car.Read: The Car-Buying Process: One Consumer’s 900+ Digital Interactions.
We get frequent questions from innovative solution sellers about how to deal with the power and politics of B2B Buying Centers. This is after you have started talking with people at a prospective customer organization. And yet a deal doesn’t seem to be coming through.Here is our take and we hope this makes our dear readers feel better:
B2B customers buy everything for some value addition to whatever business they are in. In contrast, B2C customers buy for personal satisfaction. B2C customers do not plan to sell something on eBay at the time they decide to buy.
No junior or middle manager would like to admit that they have a problem when faced with a new B2B solution that has the potential to vastly improve efficiency or reduce cost. Such an admission involves potentially admitting that the manager is not doing her job. The risks seem just too much with a new supplier, legacy systems and the fear of the unknown. A classic case of marketers trying to promote value as buyers try to reduce risk. And we are not just referring to purchasing and supply management folk- but the potential users of the new product that the marketers is trying to convince in the buying center.
“How does a sales person identify the influential members of the buying center?” is an
important question that sales people constantly wrestle with. While “Buying Centers” have influencers, they may not be the most powerful i.e. influential and it is best to identify potential users of your product or service who will become your advocates because your offering is so appropriate. In other words, remember that those who are “influential” in organizations are so because they champion stuff that is right for the